In my last blog post I mentioned that I was with the students I teach Early Childhood Education to all day on Saturday.
Out of the classroom.
On the land.
And it struck me anew just what stories they carry with them.
Our program is part-time and taught at night. Students generally come to two 3 hour classes a week for 2 years to get their basic Early Childhood Education license. They also do 3 practicum placements.
Most of them are either raising a family at home or working in some capacity with children already. Some are in other careers waiting to make the change.
They come to class after full days.
They have also mostly come from other countries.
Many have "started again" as the qualifications from their home country were not recognized here. Plant Pathologist, Pediatrician, Professor of English Literature, Engineer, Teachers.....
Some welcome the chance to change course.....others feel left with little choice.
Many are over 40.
I admire them.
I admire that they got past the frustration of the less than subtle discrimination immigrants often face, the challenges of being "new" and from "away", for struggling with a new language, new culture, new career.
For going back to school after decades of working or raising a family.
For working so hard for themselves and their families, night after night, day after long day.
They won't all make it through the course.
For some its the wrong choice of career.
Others will shine, will finally feel validated and valued.
Finally feel accepted and "Canadian".
Will feel proud to show their children what they have done.
I salute them all for who they are today and for the stories they carry with them.